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Does Marriage Have to Be Boring?

Have you heard that marriage can get boring?

This doesn’t need to happen, but it can feel ho-hum when things have gotten way too predictable. Routines are important, but this doesn’t mean that the thrills have to end.

By trying out activities that are different from your usual ones, you’ll enjoy the comfort of some routines and also enjoy enough stimulation to keep you thriving.    

Zest Is Contagious

By doing things that bring a sense of joie de vivre, we sparkle. Our aliveness is contagious. It will spice things up for both of you. So take a break from the usual and do something different, even if it doesn’t feel comfortable at first.

When my husband and I took a family vacation in Hawaii, we went most places with our toddler son. We also each went on an outing individually while the other stayed with him.

Although David occasionally plays golf near home, playing on a sunny course in Maui which was dotted with palm trees and overlooked the ocean was something else!

The next day was my turn. I took a snorkeling cruise, entering the water near a coral reef where one school of fish after another, striped, speckled, and iridescent, glided near me. I felt submerged in a mystical experience.

Helicopter over Maui

The next day, my husband said he wanted to do something memorable as a family. He suggested splurging on a helicopter tour of the island. Up we went, our small son between us, with mufflers on our ears to mute the engine’s noise. We viewed the huge Haleakala volcano from above. The pilot bluffed us into thinking we’d crash into a cliff he headed toward. As we held our breaths, he maneuvered the copter to clear it.

He knew what he was doing; his job is to thrill tourists. He gave us an unforgettable, if hair raising, experience.   

Our son, now an adult, was too young back then to remember that Hawaii vacation, but my husband and I still have vivid memories of doing what excited each of us.

You Can Gain Zest Near Home

You don’t need to go far from home to gain zest. You can learn a new sport, get a pet, act in a play, fly a kite, or explore any one of countless possibilities. Here are a few more ideas:

  • a romantic dinner at home
  • a walk in the woods or elsewhere
  • a picnic
  • a movie, play, or concert
  • horseback riding

Scheduling a weekly date with your partner is great. But remember to break out of a pattern that may exist if your date usually involves going out to a movie or for dinner. Suggest doing something new or different for the two of you.

The same goes for planning dates with yourself, when you can let yourself daydream long enough for creative ideas and solutions to emerge with no effort on your part. This can happen while you do any activity that you find nourishes your soul.

We owe it to ourselves and our relationship to keep the zest alive.

Does Marriage Have to Be Boring?

Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW

Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW, author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted (New World Library, 2014, audiobook, 2020), has a private psychotherapy practice in San Rafael, California. She offers and workshops for couples and singles, and continuing education classes for therapists at NASW conferences and online. She has taught also at the UCSF School of Medicine, UC Berkeley Extension, and Alliant International University. A former executive director of a family service agency, she earlier held senior level positions in child welfare, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry.

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APA Reference
Berger, M. (2018). Does Marriage Have to Be Boring?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Oct 2018 (Originally: 28 Oct 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.